I don't know why it wouldn't work.


New member
For the first time in six years my phosphate reactor pump succeeded in pushing the column of media and the filter pad on which the media sat up the reactor tube and allowed some of the media to exit the return into one of my sumps.

Normally this is the 90 gallon sump I can take offline to drain and refill to do partial water changes. The pump never quite gets the bottom 1 1/2 inches of water out of the tank so my PWCs are probably only 75-80 gals. In order to see how much media wound up in the tank I moved some supplies and equipment from in front of it. Looking at the bottom of the sump I not only found the media but also realized that at the bottom of the tank was a 1" thick layer of detritus (no wonder I'm always fighting higher nitrate levels!).

Can anyone think of a reason why I couldn't just vacuum that 1" of detritus and phosphate media out with a Shop-Vac?


New member
I might be worried about contamination from the vac itself, inversely getting chemicals that the vac has been in contact with in the tank. Maybe if you can add some new poly tube to the end of the vac to keep the vac itself clear of the tank?